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Crime down 10 percent in 108th

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Crime dropped more than 10 percent during a mostly quiet year for police in the 108th Precinct, which covers Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside.

Overall crime went down nearly 11 percent compared with 2008. All major crimes either remained at 2008 levels or declined except for rapes, which rose 55 percent to 14.

There were 158 robberies through Dec. 27 compared with 209 during the same stretch of 2008, a 24.4 percent drop. Felony assaults declined to 96 from 111 through Dec. 27, a 13.5 percent decrease from the previous year. Auto thefts declined to 184 from 210 through Dec. 27, a change of 12.4 percent from the same period of 2008.

The number of homicides remained the same, with three in both years.

On Jan. 8, Noor Khan, a 42-year-old gas station attendant, suffered a fatal heart attack after being robbed, police said.

The second murder occurred sometime around April 27. Police responded to 45-23 41st St. that morning to find 24-year-old Michelle Lee, an NYPD crime lab technician, bound to a bed and stabbed repeatedly.

Police charged Lee’s ex-boyfriend, 23-year-old Gary McGurk, on suspicion of the murder in May and a grand jury indicted him shortly afterward. McGurk pleaded not guilty to the charges. His next court date is Jan. 14.

Finally, on Dec. 12 police responded to 43-35 10th St. after receiving a call about an unresponsive woman. There they found Susan Woolf, a 49-year-old artist, with packing tape around her neck and multiple stab wounds. She was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Authorities were still searching for Woolf’s boyfriend, 43-year-old Tigran Tambiev.

Another man was found dead when a pair of men in a minivan flagged down a police officer on the Long Island Expressway to seek assistance March 7. But investigators soon learned the man had been fatally shot in Brooklyn’s 94th Precinct.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jewalsh@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

Updated 5:42 pm, October 10, 2011
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